Olympos

Olympos

Olympos

Olympos was a city in Lycia, situated in a river valley near the Turquoise Coast of Turkey popular point for Olympos Cruise. Its ancient ruins are south of the town of Cirali in Antalya Province, Turkey. Other ancient cities, Phaselis and Idyros together with Olympos are all within the Olympos Beydaglari National Park. As such this is a protected area so permanent constructions are not permitted; accommodation is in tree houses.

Best estimates suggest that the city was founded towards the end of the 4th Century BC because there is a wall and an inscription on a sarcophagus as evidence. It was one of the members of the Lycian League and one of its largest cities; it minted its own coins in the 2nd Century BC. It fell under the control of pirates some time later and left the League. A young Julius Caesar was among the Roman soldiers that took control from the pirates in 78 BC.

For a time it was a Christian bishopric within the diocese of Myra, the capital of the province of Lycia under the Romans. These days it is listed as a titular see.

It was a port of some importance along this coastline even then while in the Middle Ages the Venetians, Genoese and Rhodians built fortresses in the area before their abandonment in the 15th Century.

Those interested in history and culture regularly visit Olympos today. Its artefacts and ruins are fairly scattered though worth investigation amongst the beautiful environment of forests, flora and sea. There are several comfortable pensions for those wanting to stay close by rather in larger places.

It is only in recent years that a good road has been in place to link Olympos west towards Kas and onward to Fethiye and east en route to Antalya. That has led to an expansion of tourist numbers, originally mainly backpackers who enjoy nights around a camp fire. See how you get to Olympos.